Commissioners seek to toss MUD

Ellis County body votes to contest municipal utility district near Ennis

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
The Ellis County Historic Courthouse.

The creation of a new municipal utility district drew opposition from Ellis County Commissioners during a fast-moving regular bi-weekly meeting on Tuesday.

Following an executive session, county elected leaders voted to contest the establishment of the new municipal utility district, or MUD, within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city of Ennis located off FM 984. The commissioners also voted to contest all sewage and other permits associated with what is known as Ellis County MUD FM 984.

No reason for the opposition was publicly stated during the meeting.

A MUD is a political subdivision of the state of Texas authorized by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide water, sewage, drainage and other utility-related services within the MUD boundaries.

The commissioners also approved the engagement of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP to represent Ellis County in proceedings with the TCEQ regarding the MUD. Bickerstaff is the same firm that will provide redistricting services to the county following the release of 2020 U.S. Census figures later this year.

On April 6, the county first discussed the TCEQ’s receipt of an application from Waxahachie Creek Ranch, LLC for creation of Ellis County MUD FM 984. The application has a 180-day review and processing time frame.

At that time, commissioners approved submission of request to the TCEQ for a contested hearing for three other MUDs in the Waxahachie area and retained Bickerstaff for counsel fir those cases. Tuesday’s action closes the loop on the fourth MUD.

The proposed MUD consists of about 530 acres located on the north side of FM 984 at Getzendaner Road, just west of the BNSF Railway line. The petition to create the MUD was filed with the city of Ennis last Sept. 17, and a legal notice for the MUD was posted Dec. 27.

All four county commissioners and Todd Little, the county's chief executive, were present.

Other items

• Little presented a proclamation honoring the Ellis County Vaccine Hub workforce for its service. The hub is ending its operations after administering more than 80,000 vaccines.

• Items on the consent agenda included approval of previous minutes and acceptance of various reports; approval of Charles Peyton to replace Wade Norquist on the ESD No. 1 commission and approval of Shaun Malone to replace Ray Bridle on the ESD No. 4 commission; and several budgetary line item transfers.

• A 30-day audit deadline extension for Emergency Services District No. 8 was granted to July 1 at the request of county fire marshal Tim Birdwell.

• Three plats were approved: a 13.964-acre property at the northeast corner of Barton Road and West 1st Street in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Maypearl; a 4.196-acre property on the west side of Neck Road near Ferris; and a 10.316-acre property on the east side of Brigman Road near Maypearl.

• A minute order for an approved road frontage variance at 5204 East FM 875 was rescinded as being no longer necessary.

• Equipment and various items from various county departments were listed as surplus.

• A cooperative interlocal purchasing agreement was approved with National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance.

• Commissioners approved the purchase of a Broce RJT350 broom in the amount of $51,537 for Road and Bridge Precinct No. 2. Also purchased was a Tiger RT50D boom mower in the amount of $166,644 for Road and Bridge Precinct No. 3.

• An annual contract extension with Debris Tech for disaster debris monitoring was approved. The agreement requires no payment unless in the event of a major disaster.

• The county renewed an annual $15,429 agreement with CivicPlus, LLC for website hosting services.

• A structural analysis on the communications tower at the County Farm for the addition of equipment was approved by request of the city of Ennis.

• Commissioners approved an order for the special runoff election to be held July 27 to fill the U.S. House District 6 seat.

• Based on advice of counsel, an extension of the option period to purchase a property at 301 North Rogers St. in Waxahachie was OK’d